Anniversary Post: Jamrud Mosque Bombing

Jamrud Mosque BombingIt is the seventh anniversary of the Jamrud mosque bombing. It was a suicide bombing and at least 48 people were killed and roughly a hundred injured. According to witnesses, a boy of 15 or 16 climbed into a window, went to the main hall that was filled for Friday prayers, and he blew himself up. It was a complete horror as you can see in the photo on the left. But there are two issues that this raises in my mind.

The first is the use of children as suicide bombers. I once heard an interview with a teenage girl who was supposed to be a suicide bomber but backed out at the last minute. And her story was really tragic. Her boyfriend had been killed by the Israelis and so she was upset and mentioned that she would like to get revenge, and the people who lead these kind of things jumped on her and pushed her into becoming a suicide bomber. It is so horrible. Like military leaders everywhere, she was just a resource to be used however they thought best in their war with the Israelis. All I can say is that warriors should fight their own wars and leave kids out of it. I realize this is not the way things work, and there is nothing any different between that and killing children. Still, I have a hard time not seeing this teenage boy as a victim as well.

The second issue is the bombing of a mosque. I’m just not clear where all our resentment of Muslims comes from. The Muslims who are politically radicalized are mostly in the business of killing other Muslims. So I just don’t see what the whole issue is with their religion. I keep coming back to Sam Harris’ line that “Islam is the motherlode of bad ideas.” Really?! It’s such a bigoted and ignorant claim. His depth of thinking on Islam is about as deep as Phil Robertson’s thinking on atheism. The main thing that occurs to me is that this kind of thinking (that many atheists are very open about) is very much blaming the victim.

With deep sadness and hope that the world becomes a better place, we mark this seventh anniversary of the Jamrud mosque bombing.

2 thoughts on “Anniversary Post: Jamrud Mosque Bombing

  1. An idea I’ve been kicking around is that religious tribalism is similar to regionalism: there’s no enemy more hated than your close neighbor. In the case of regionalism, my classic example is the former Yugoslavia – the Serbs, Croats, and Muslims were ethnically identical and spoke the same language; the only difference between them was “which religion did your distant ancestors convert to?” To an outsider, they looked identical… and I always wondered whether that wasn’t a factor in the bitterness of the fighting.
    On the religious side, denominations are well-known for their splits and schisms, and in the aftermath it often seems that the internal tension is worse than the external: it’s worse to be “almost right” than “completely wrong”.

    In short, it seems to me that divisions are more bitter the less apparent they are to an outside observer.

    Emo Phillips did one of his best bits on this subject:
    http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2005/sep/29/comedy.religion

    • I remember that joke. It’s like “The People’s Front of Judea.”

      I remember in high school hearing two protestants feeling good that they weren’t Catholics. I think atheists get a free ride because they aren’t seen as having chosen a side.

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